that 90s show
Image: Patrick Wymore/Netflix

The ‘That ’90s Show’ edit: Throwback fashion inspired by the Netflix sequel

20 Jan 2023 | |By Anna Solomon

We settled in for a big ol’ dose of nostalgia this week as That '90s Show hits screens, reminding us of some of the iconic sartorial styles of the decade…

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That ’90s Show – the sequel to teen sitcom That ’70s Show, which debuted in the ’90s (read that slowly) – sees characters from the original series return 15 years after the events of its finale. It’s a breezy throwback to the summer of ‘95 – a simpler time, before Instagram and NFTs and Brexit. When ‘ghosting’ was something supernatural, ‘woke’ was what you did in the morning, and if you told someone to ‘Zoom’ you they’d think you’d gone mad.

That said, a lot of things haven’t changed, or have at least come full circle – especially when it comes to what we wear. Fashion’s penchant for retrospection means that styles are generally maligned for a decade or two (“urgh, remember when we used to wear X”) before cropping up on runways a couple of years later. The lesson being, don’t throw out your bum bag, scrunchie collection or bucket hat just yet – the ‘90s are back, and not just on Netflix. Read on for our edit of fashion pieces that take us back to that hallowed decade.

Suits

90s fashion

The ’90s was the decade of the suit, be it chic and fitted or statement and oversized – think Jada Pinkett Smith at the premiere of Men in Black, or Julia Roberts’ menswear look at the 1990 Golden Globe Awards (complete with a tie – that’s commitment). To recreate this power-trend, look to Stella McCartney; this twill set is sharp and sophisticated with peak lapels and shoulder pads.

Stella McCartney blazer, £890, net-a-porter.com; trousers, £595, net-a-porter.com

Minimalism and neutrals

90s fashion

Less was more in the ’90s (which cannot be said for its controversial successor, the Noughties). Elegance was the name of the game, and if you could rule the red carpet in nothing more than a black midi and grey roll-neck a la Cameron Diaz, then more power to you. We lauded the likes of Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and the Olsen twins, who were, admittedly, teenagers in the ’90s – but they would later found The Row, a brand purveying conservative basics befitting their generation.

Fortela blazer, £745, net-a-porter.com; Courreges dress, £660, net-a-porter.com

Crop tops

90s fashion

This decade heralded the era of the pop princess, with Britney Spears leading the pack. And the Toxic star was seldom seen out of midriff-bearing attire, fuelling fashion’s insatiable obsession with the crop top. Her questionable schoolgirl outfit in the Baby One More Time video bookended a decade of belly-baring styles.

Fannie Schiavoni top, £805, net-a-porter.com; Versace top, £700, net-a-porter.com; Paco Rabanne top, £370, net-a-porter.com

Animal print

90s fashion

Two words (and one letter): Mary J. Blige. The singer stunned at the 1996 Grammys with a head-to-toe cheetah print look (complete with a fabulous hooded cape and velvet gloves). And what do you know? An animal-patterned fur coat or silk skirt is all the rage now, too.

V:PM Atelier coat, £1,344, farfetch.com; The Kooples skirt, £270, harrods.com

Leather jackets

90s fashion

Ever since Winona Ryder donned a biker-style jacket in ‘92, it’s become a wardrobe staple – but let's not forget the likes of Naomi Campbell and Jada Pinkett Smith, who also played their part in elevating the trend. This cropped lambskin number from Joseph is a great modern alternative, as is this Max Mara coat in Nappa leather if you prefer the trench fit.

Joseph jacket, £1,740, farfetch.com; Max Mara jacket, £2,720, maxmara.com

Slip dresses

90s fashion

The slip is ubiquitous now, but it all started in the Era of the Supermodel. Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell unequivocally won the Versace Diamonds are Forever show in London in 1999 when they wore matching silver pieces, and in 1995 Iman was pictured demonstrating the power of the slip dress/oversized blazer combo. Jennifer Lopez's beaded maxi at the 17th annual CFDA Awards also deserves a shout out here.

Joseph dress, £471, farfetch.com; St. Agni dress, £210, farfetch.com; Eres dress, £1,658, matchesfashion.com

Leather trousers

90s fashion

Yep, more leather – thank David and Victoria Beckham and the head-to-toe ensembles they wore to the Versace Club Gala Party in 1999. It doesn’t get more ‘90s than that – unless it’s J.Lo donning a chainmail top and low-rise leather trousers at the MTV Movie Awards. Leave it to Zeynep Arcay and Goldsign to create something that is equal parts sophisticated and rock-and-roll.

Goldsign trousers, £750.75, net-a-porter.com; Zeynep Arcay trousers, £1,470, harrods.com

Colour blocking

90s fashion

The image of Gwyneth Paltrow donning a bright green co-ord on the set of Great Expectations has been doing the rounds recently, and it’s a timely reminder of the '90s penchant for colour blocking. To recreate this look, stick to patternless pieces in Crayola shades.

Gucci silk trousers, £1,050, net-a-porter.com; Rowen Rose skirt, £505, net-a-porter.com; Victoria Beckham dress, £850, harrods.com

Tiny handbags

Cindy Crawford at the 1995 MTV Movie Awards wouldn’t look out of place in a Jacquemus campaign today – minuscule and utterly inconvenient handbag included. Bella Hadid, Hailey Bieber et al would be proud.

Alexander Wang bag, £675, harrods.com; Shrimps bag, £495, libertylondon.com

Mom jeans

Another laid-back '90s look with sticking power. Janet Jackson wore it best in 1992 with a newsboy cap over long box braids, with Halle Berry's denim-and-leopard print coat ensemble coming in a close second. Perhaps the fit has stuck because it’s super-flattering, as these jeans from Alexander Wang and RE/DONE will attest to.

Alexander Wang jeans, £340, harrods.com; RE/DONE jeans, £256, theoutnet.com

LBDs

Do you remember that Sex and the City episode where Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha attend a friend's wedding and end up at the singles table? It may be relatable in the worst possible way, but at least the girls looked fabulous dressed like, I quote, ‘the Witches of Eastwick’. But the little black dress to rule them all belonged to Princess Diana, who wore the ‘revenge dress’ the night that Prince Charles confessed his infidelity on national TV in 1994. Iconic.

Miu Miu dress, £2,200, miumiu.com; Valentino dress, £2,980, valentino.com

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